Constance Guisset’s Magical Designs

Vertigo Lamps by Constance Guisset

The Musée des Arts Décoratifs exhibits recent work by designer and scenographer Constance Guisset (to March 11, 2018). The exhibition titled “Actio!” Is a retrospective of this young designer’s work featuring her creations over the past ten years. In addition to her design work she has made stage sets for choreographers Angelin Preljocaj and Wang Ramirez. She has also designed exhibition scenographies for Paris’ Musée du Quai Branly and the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille. Continue reading “Constance Guisset’s Magical Designs”

Photographisme at Pompidou

Wojciech Zamecznik, « Sans titre’ », 1963

“Photographisme” is an exhibition at The Pompidou Center featuring graphic experiments by three post-war photographers: Klein, Ifert and Zamecznik (to January 29, 2018).  The lessons of the Bauhaus were taken up by a generation of innovative practitioners, figures as different as Gérard Ifert (Basel, b. 1929), William Klein (New York, b. 1928) and Wojciech Zamecznik (Warsaw, 1923–67) who developed new, “photo-graphic” forms of expression in the 1950s and ’60s. Continue reading “Photographisme at Pompidou”

Jaromir Funke Revisited in Paris

Jaromir Funke

Paris’ Czech Cultural Center exhibits the work of photographer Jaromir Funke (1896-1945) who was a leading figure in Czech photography during the 1920’s and 1930’s. Funke’s work is a melange of the major trends in modernist European photography, blending constructivism and functionalism with surrealism, photograms and social commentary. He cofounded in 1924 the Czech Photographic Society with Josef Sudek and Adolf Schneeberger. Two years later he produced a series of Surrealist images of store windows titled “Glass and Reflection,” inspired by Eugène Atget. Continue reading “Jaromir Funke Revisited in Paris”

Dessiner en Plein Air

Delacroix © Louvre

In the early part of the 19th century —before photography was invented— artists took their easels and sketchbooks outdoors to more faithfully represent nature. “Designer en plein air,” a temporary exhibition at the Louvre revisits drawings, etchings and some thirty sketchbooks of several open air artists such as Delacroix, Corot, Chassériau, Valenciennes and Daubigny (to January 29. 2018).
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Francois 1er and Dutch Art

The Louvre revisits the French Renaissance with a temporary exhibition “Francois 1er et l’Art des Pays-Bas “ devoted to Dutch artists patronized by Francois Ier (1494-1547) who ruled France from 1515 until his death. Francois, an enthusiastic patron of the arts, initiated the French Renaissance by attracting to France many Italian artists including Leonardo da Vinci, who brought the Mona Lisa with him. Continue reading “Francois 1er and Dutch Art”

Johanna Calle’s “Drawings”


The Maison de l’Amérique Latine hosts a remarkable exhibition of work by Columbian artist Johanna Calle (to December 20, 2017). Although titled “Drawings” it is much more than that. Her drawings explore the idea of line in all its forms while using text, lattice screens, metal and cloth.  Wire is an integral material for many of her projects. Calle often uses it alongside drawing. She says “It is a more dimensional form of line and can communicate certain things that simply drawing cannot… My artworks are the result of research processes that discuss the investigation of materials.” Underlying the visual dimension of her work are such dialectics as abstract vs figurative and what is legible and illegible… the details we see up close and how things look further away. Continue reading “Johanna Calle’s “Drawings””

Ali Kazma’s “Souterrain”

Ali Kazma, “Subterranean” diptyque video

The Jeu de Paume in Paris is showing Turkish lens-based artist Ali Kazma’s recent non-narrative documentary videos (until January 21). Kazma, who studied in the States at the New School, represented Turkey in the 55th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia. His video installations —usually five to fifteen minutes—are a melange of various situations and social types… a kind of update on August Sanders. In a recent interview with ARTE he described the documentary nature of his work as an effort to create a “poetic archive of the human condition.” Kazma’s videos are an excellent compliment to the other Jeu de Paume exhibition currently on devoted to legendary “New Objectivity” photographer Albert Renger-Patzsch. Continue reading “Ali Kazma’s “Souterrain””

Albert Renger-Patzsch’s “Things”

Stapelia variegata, Asclepiadaceae 1923 Albert Renger-Patzsch

A major exhibition of around 190 photographs revisits the work of the German photographer Albert Renger-Patzsch (1897-1966), whose photographs are associated with the “New Objectivity” genre ( to January 21, 2018).  His typologies and industrial landscapes have influenced the documentary style of several generations of photographers including Bernd and Hilla Becher as well as Andreas Gursky. Continue reading “Albert Renger-Patzsch’s “Things””

The Mistress of Paris

Take a walk on the wild side of Belle Epoque Paris with this biography of Emile-Louise Delabigne, known as countess Valtesse de la Bigne (1848-1910). who was a legendary French courtesan and demi-modaine. Her lovers included countless painters, writers and politicians, while her affairs with women caused a scandal in turn-of-the-century Paris. She was painted by Édouard Manet and inspired Émile Zola, who immortalized her in his scandalous novel “Nana.” Continue reading “The Mistress of Paris”